Payer

By Brian Dolan October 7, 2009
Grocery store chain Safeway gives employees discounts on their health insurance for having certain body mass indexes, quitting smoking, controlling hypertension or lowering their cholesterol, according to a report from National Public Radio this week. Safeway CEO Steve Burd told the radio network that his company's employees receive a discount on their health insurance if they have a body mass...
By Brian Dolan October 6, 2009
On the same day that its former leader launched his own online healthcare start-up, Google Health announced that it had inked deals with two more health insurers: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and American Postal Workers Union Health Plan. That brings the count up to three insurers since Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA signed on last year. Google released the announcement at the Health 2.0 event,...
By Brian Dolan October 6, 2009
The former head of Google Health, Adam Bosworth, has finally launched his long-heralded consumer health start-up, Keas, according to a report today in the The New York Times. The site offers various personalized care plans for users that aim to take their personal health information and help them make healthier decisions: "Using the Keas system, for example, a person with Type 2 diabetes might...
By Brian Dolan October 5, 2009
"It's the first time a private payer has really come out in a big way and endorsed telemedicine," Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, told the Washington Times in reference to United Health Group's recent deal with Cisco. "The insurers are starting to say yes. Telemedicine doesn't have to be high tech. There is a huge benefit in terms of keeping people out of hospitals...
By Brian Dolan September 24, 2009
"It’s stupid of insurance companies to insist on an inferior device costing 10 times as much," Roger Ebert wrote in a letter to the Editor of the New York Times last week. Ebert, the famous film critic, was responding to a feature the Times had recently published about Medicare only covering dedicated text-to-speech devices, even though those devices are typically far more expensive than multi-...
By Brian Dolan September 16, 2009
It was a hard fight to get insurance companies to cover dedicated text-to-speech devices for speech-impaired patients, but it finally happened in 2001, according to a report in The New York Times. Now the fight is on to get insurers to pay for cheaper devices and software that they claim work just as well or better. The Times report highlights one patient's struggle: Kara Lynn, an ALS, or Lou...
By Brian Dolan September 8, 2009
The Aging Workforce: How to Fight the Risks, is the title of a recent article over at CFO Magazine. It highlights some of the findings of a World Economic Forum report that urges the enterprise to take a proactive approach to its employees' health. CFO Magazine is clearly focused on the bottom line, so it's an interesting lens to look through when debating the proper role for enterprise in the...
By Brian Dolan September 1, 2009
Highmark Medicare Services (HMS) confirmed with remote monitoring service provider CardioNet that the reduced reimbursement rate for mobile cardiovascular technology will become effective today, September 1, 2009. The new rate is $754 per service and that represents a 33 percent reduction from the $1,123 reimbursement rate the service has retained all year. "We are very disappointed at HMS'...
By Brian Dolan August 31, 2009
New England-based health plan Harvard Pilgrim Health Care announced plans to pilot a medication adherence study that makes use of MedMinder Systems' wireless-enabled pillbox.  The randomized controlled study, which is set to begin in early September, aims to determine how effective MedMinder's system is on a population of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD affects 26 million...
By Brian Dolan August 17, 2009
Vanguard Health Systems has become the tenth company to join the Dossia Consortium, which is a non-profit organization made up of U.S. employers that seek to empower their employees to make smarter, more informed healthcare decisions by providing them with access to their healthcare data through what the consortium calls a personally-controlled health record (PCHR). That sounds a lot like a...